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Oral Cancer Screening Is Just As Important As Skin Cancer Screening

Person with oral cancer on their tongueOral cancer is cancer of the mouth, including the lips, tongue, floor of the mouth, cheeks, gum, roof of the mouth, tonsils and salivary glands.

The incidence of oral cancer in Australia is increasing. In 2012, 659 people died of oral and oro-pharyngeal cancer.

Six Factors That Contribute to Oral Cancer

  • Cigarette smoking
  • Excessive alcohol intake
  • Oral Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)
  • Family history of oral cancers
  • Poor oral hygiene and gum disease
  • Excessive sun exposure.

Some Symptoms that May Suggest You Are at Risk of Oral Cancer

  • A lump in your neck
  • Loose teeth
  • Swelling or a sore on your lip that doesn’t heal
  • Difficult or painful swallowing
  • Changes in your speech
  • Bleeding or numbness in the mouth
  • White or red patches on the mouth, tongue or gums
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Ear pain, particularly on one side more than the other

Early treatment and improved survival are often due to the prompt response of health care professionals and patients to the diagnosis before the condition becomes advanced.

Dentists are well trained to recognise oral cancers and it is important that your dentist conducts an oral cancer screen every time they conduct a check-up, clean or other dental procedure. If recognised, your dentist may be able to conduct a biopsy and will refer you to the relevant specialist for further investigations.

The Australian Dental Association recommends an oral cancer screen once every year. Early detection really does save lives!  Contact 7 Pearls Dental today for an appointment.


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